Apr 14, 2014

Cordillera: Bodies Of Missing Human Rights Activists Found

Three activists were found buried next to their house. Cordillera human rights organizations have conducted a national solidarity mission to monitor the human rights situation in the province of Abra.

Below is an article published by the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance:

This April 4-7, 2014, a National Solidarity Mission was held in response to one of the gravest cases of human rights violation in the Cordillera region in recent years – the massacre of the Ligiws of Sitio Sucao, Barangay Domenglay, Licuan Baay, Abra.

On March 7, 2014, Fermin Ligiw, Eddie Ligiw and their aged father, Licuben Ligiw, were found buried in a shallow grave near their hut after they went missing on March 3 [2014]. Their bodies were piled up in the grave. The body of Eddie was at the bottom. He was shirtless when found. On top of him were the bodies of his father, Licuben and his brother, Fermin. All were in fetal position. The hands of Eddie and Fermin were bound by thick nylon ropes. There were rope marks around the neck of Ama Licuben. Eddie had dark marks in the chest area. Fermin’s head was “nalumo” (iloko term) meaning that some parts of his head were macerated.

The Ligiw clan and members of the community highly suspect the 41st IBPA as the perpetrator of these brutal extrajudicial killings.

Even after the Ligiws were laid to rest, harassment, threats, intimidation and other human rights violations heightened in the community due to the continuing presence of the military.

The three victims and their immediate family are members and leaders of BALITOK (Baay Licuan Takderan Umno a Karbengan), KASTAN (Kakailian Salakniban tay Amin a Nagtaudan) and CPA (Cordillera Peoples Alliance). These organizations have long been under attack by the AFP with their political vilification campaign branding these organizations as terrorists.

The National Solidarity Mission was organized to register concern over the recent spate of human rights violations due to heavy militarization of the communities of Abra.

The objectives of the mission are: (1) to express solidarity with the people affected by the operations of the 41st IBPA and (2) monitor the human rights situation in the said communities.